Evidence shows that many irregular migrants from the East and the Horn of Africa continue to use the ‘Southern Route’, hoping to reach South Africa. Migrants travelling this way often fall foul of immigration authorities for crossing without the requisite documents.
Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya are both countries of origin and transit along this route. Officials from all three states met in April to discuss how to strike a balance between managing irregular migration flows to southern Africa while ensuring that the human rights of migrants are respected and protected.
During the meeting, technical participants developed 27 key recommendations to address detention conditions and alternatives to detention, as well to prevent irregular and dangerous migration, and sustainable approaches to return and reintegration.
The recommendations included the harmonization of anti-human trafficking and smuggling laws within the three countries, as well as the sensitization of the diaspora of the countries of origin on the risks of irregular migration. Participants also explored better coordination mechanisms to protect vulnerable migrants, and strategies for improving existing voluntary return and reintegration processes and policies.
The meeting was a culmination of previous efforts aimed at addressing migration issues on the Southern Route. It brought together a high-level audience from the Governments of Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, including the Tanzanian Minister of Home Affairs Kangi Lugola; the Ethiopian State Minister for Peace Zeynu Jemal; and Kenyan Ambassador Michael Oyugi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Representatives for the EU Delegation, donor embassies and UN agencies in Dar es Salaam were also present.
The meeting was financed under the European Union (EU) – International Organization for Migration (IOM) Joint Initiative in the Horn of Africa. The programme is part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration which facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, backed by the Africa Trust Fund, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.